“If there’s any conflict over the inheritance, I’ll come back and haunt you.”*

Anyone who has experienced (or anticipates) the family feuding that often ensues over inheritance will find Georgia State University Gerontology Institute Professor Candace Kemp’s recent publication of interest:

GSU Gerontology Prof. Candace Kemp

GSU Gerontology Prof. Candace Kemp

de Witt, L., Campbell, L., Ploeg, J., Kemp, C., & Rosenthal, C. (2013). “You’re saying something by giving things to them:” Communication and family inheritance. European Journal Of Ageing, 10(3), 181-189.

Drawing from a content analysis of 50 face-to-face in-depth interviews with Canadian men and women aged 59–96, which were analyzed using NVivo qualitative data analysis software, Dr. Kemp and her co-authors found “four themes regarding the role of communication in family inheritance including: (a) avoiding conflict and preserving biological ties, (b) resisting conversations about possessions, (c) achieving confidence with possession communication, and (d) lasting effects.”  They also found that “participants with past positive inheritance experiences with parents adopted similar strategies when communicating their own inheritance wishes” and that “negative messages conveyed to participants by their parent’s wills inspired participants to communicate in opposite ways in their own inheritance planning.” [quote from article abstract]

Also check out these other resources on this topic at the University Library and the College of Law Library:

*Blog post title is a paraphrased quotation from a research subject in this study.

About Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh

Team Leader for Research Data Services and Librarian for Sociology & Data Services
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